New Year, Greener You: Herefordshire climate action campaign launched to tackle climate change

A new campaign is set to encourage Herefordians to be part of a county-wide “movement of positive action” to tackle climate change and protect the county’s rich nature and wildlife.

Launched today (Thursday 27th January), the Greener Footprints Herefordshire campaign is challenging the county’s individuals, communities, and employers to take a pledge to take positive climate action in their daily lives. The campaign acknowledges that many people have taken action already to reduce their carbon footprints and support wildlife. But, by continuing collectively to take practical steps to lead more climate and nature friendly lives, Herefordians will make a big difference to the county.

Created and spearheaded by the county’s Climate and Nature Partnership, an initiative made up of local people and supported by Herefordshire Council, the campaign will play a central role in Herefordshire’s plans to become carbon net zero by 2030 and ensure its natural wildlife flourishes.

To kickstart Greener Footprints Herefordshire, the campaign website has published top tips, ‘Twenty-two ways for 2022 to care for the environment and nature across Herefordshire’. A programme of exciting activities and initiatives will also be rolled out over the next year to raise awareness of climate change in the county, and to support climate and nature action amongst individuals, families, communities, schools, colleges, and businesses.

Herefordians and organisations can pledge to support the campaign at where they will also be able to download a suite of digital and print out materials to promote their participation in the initiative and encourage others to do so. Pledgees will be asked to feedback on their progress, helping to inspire the county to take action.

Anna, a pupil at Hereford Cathedral School, commented: “I’m signing up and will be encouraging young people across the county to do so too. Climate action’s time has come and as we have seen across the world, there is a significant opportunity to harness the environmental consciousness amongst the younger population to make and influence changes to our lives that support our future climate and natural landscape.”

Jackie Jones, Co-Chair of Herefordshire Green Network (HGN), said: “Businesses, farms, schools, households – there’s so much scope for making changes that cut emissions and support nature once you decide what to focus on.

“That’s why making a commitment to do something specific is so useful. HGN is looking forward to working with and supporting Greener Footprints.”

Ross Whelan, co-owner and founder of Foxtail, an award-winning Herefordshire-based micro-distillery, who comes from Walford Parish, said: “As a small business I will be getting behind the campaign as its good for the environment and our reputation as it shows that we care about such issues.”

Richard Wells, manager of the Acute and Emergency services at Hereford County Hospital, who lives in the city, added: “We are on a major drive at the hospital to get to net zero and we have already reduced our carbon footprint by 10%.”

Andrew Nixon, Senior Conservation Manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, who lives in St Weonard, said: “It’s great that such a movement is being established and that nature is very much on the agenda. We will be giving the campaign our wholehearted support and through it getting local people to connect with and appreciate the nature which is a key feature of our county as one of the most rural areas in the UK.

Claire Kingston, Senior Visitor Experience Officer for the National Trust, who lives near Leominster, commented: “Working for the National Trust, I’m passionate about preserving the county’s natural beauty for future generations. I’ve always lived in Herefordshire, so this campaign is significant to me personally and in my line of work.”

Ben Boswell, Head of Environment, Climate Emergency & Waste at Herefordshire Council, said: “The Council is committed to achieving net zero by 2030 and is making good progress to reduce its carbon footprint. We look forward to working in partnership with the new Board and seeing the county take up the challenge.”

Cllr Ellie Chowns, chair of the Climate and Nature Partnership Board, said: “What better way to start the new year than by making a resolution to do something hugely positive for our county and future generations? Our timely Greener Footprints campaign aims to mobilise an enormous collective effort across the county to create a movement of positive change.

“There’s a real momentum gathering to make sure we all play our part in addressing the threat of climate change in our communities, landscapes and lives. The first step is to make that pledge to cut your climate footprint and be part of the movement to make Herefordshire zero-carbon, nature-rich county! Together let’s make 2022 the year when climate and nature action really come of age in Herefordshire.”